The reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall is about to reopen after a two-year, $34 million reconstruction effort. According to a report from The Washington Post, two powerful underground pumps on the Tidal Basin will start pushing 4 million gallons of water through a buried pipeline at 800 gallons a minute. Fifty-eight outlets in the concrete floor of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool will then release gentle streams of water, which will begin to replenish the pool floor for the first time in nearly two years.
The memorial will debut an almost completely rebuilt and slightly redesigned pool, with a tinted bottom, sidewalks to replace old dirt paths, and subtle nighttime illumination. The redesigned pool will also employ a new water supply system in which its water will be drawn from the Tidal Basin for the first time, instead of city water reserves, and be cleaned and recirculated. During a tour of the site last week, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar spoke of the symbolic significance of the memorial. “When people think of Washington, D.C., they think of the Lincoln Memorial, they think of the reflecting pool,” he said. “They remember moments in history . . . and so much that has happened around this place.” Salazar said the memorial would be a half-empty place without the reflecting pool. The National Park Service said it hopes to reopen the pool to the public by the end of August.